Quick question: Do you prefer a settled and confirmed business meeting with a person potentially interested in your offer over wandering door-to-door inside a skyscraper while looking for anyone that will buy some goodies from your suitcase? If you picked, with no hesitation, option number one, then please tell me, why you wouldn’t apply this approach also to your email marketing?


Unfortunately, despite the fast development of technology and marketing automation software, people still tend to treat email marketing as the cheaper version of doorstep selling – they spray all recipients with emails and don’t give a rats whether they are interested in the content or not, nor whether they agreed to receive it in the first place!


Luckily, nowadays in many countries, the law enforces using the so-called double opt-in. It is a practice where a contact, after submitting its email address to the mailing list, has to confirm this fact by clicking the activation link sent via email in order to receive marketing content from a given sender.


Double opt-in is also considered one of the so-called good practices of email marketing. And aside from being in accordance with the law, it also serves several purposes.

  1. Increasing database quality – a contact list created organically and using confirmation of contacts’ will to receive marketing messages is more valuable – you are certain that your contact has deliberately made the decision to receive your newsletter, educational cycles or other special offers.
  2. Database hygiene and lowering email marketing costs – the second benefit from using double opt-ins is help in maintaining and de-cluttering the database. We named both the perks and the ways to clean the database here. In order to avoid monthly database cleaning, all the addresses with zero value – the ones that reduce delivery rates due to typos or other mistakes – you should filter them at the moment of submission. Double opt-ins helps confirm that the new address actually exists. Also, they lower the cost of email marketing automation tools – you do not have to worry about sending messages that are most certainly not delivered.
  3. Avoiding the so-called spam traps – a few words of explanation – spam traps are addresses of non-existent people created to catch and report companies who send marketing content without obtaining appropriate approvals. By using the practice of double opt-in you won’t fall for this trap!
  4. Being fair and square – double opt-in is also an image building tool. You communicate your terms and conditions at the very beginning of the company-customer relationship. Sure, there are fields where one should keep one’ s mystique, but the overloaded email marketing channel isn’t one of them, for sure. Playing it as a gentleman you surely improve your status among potential clients.


Double opt-in traps

No matter how desirable it is, the double opt-in practice requires some well-thought-over actions while designing the process of signing up for a mailing list as well as creating the confirmation message.

People who subscribe to the mailing list might not be aware of the necessity to confirm the submission. When designing a contact form, pop-up or landing page, make it clear and explicit that after clicking the “submit” button, the recipient must still confirm the will of receiving your messages by clicking on the activation link in the automatically sent email. There are several ways to do this:

  • as a short visual instruction near the frame,
  • an information on the thank you page – a graphic or a site that shows after hitting the submit button,
  • as an exit pop-up,
  • etc.

The second problem is that the recipient may not see the email – maybe one doesn’t know one should expect it (see above), or the message landed in spam. We have already written a few articles about spam itself, such as this one or this one. The general rule when creating a message says: do it as easy as you can – simple headline, specified sender, clear content, clear call to action and as few graphics as possible.
What are your tips & tricks for double opt-in?